Today we deal with a topic that stems out of an interesting observation. Have you noticed that in some countries, the seniors age “well” and are fairly fit and healthy even into their 80’s while in others they are not? Interesting, isn’t it? Well, one of our regular contributors Samantha Olivier from Ripped.Me has kindly decided to contribute this thought-provoking and interesting guest post.
Life is movement. From amoebae to humans, every living thing is compelled to move in order to survive (at least on a microscopic level). As far as humans go, we tend to get slower as we age. Muscles deteriorate and our joints begin to hurt under the weight of time. Throughout history, we’ve only known one way to fight this – through continuous and relentless physical exercise.
We are not all meant to be bodybuilders, nor should we strive to be. However, we all need proper motivation every now and then, so read on about the importance of improving mobility as you push fifty.
Why do we slow down?
First of all, it’s never too late to start, no matter your age. In fact, as we grow older, physical activity becomes exponentially more crucial for our wellbeing. However, many of us decide to go full-sedentary-mode as the sixth decade encroaches.
The reasons for this are manifold. First of all, we are culturally hard-wired to “step aside” as the new generations march onward. Second of all, our metabolism gets slower and we tend to put on weight in our later years. Due to this weight gain, or due to other genetic or environmental factors, chronic pain starts to kick in. This chronic pain triggers all sorts of worrying mechanisms, fears for general health, the fears of falling and hurting yourself, as well as some insecurities.
Why should we snap out of it?
The first thing you should “exercise” is your mindset. The best way to get over your fears and doubts about your physical capabilities is to keep a clear end goal in mind. Exercise will boost your energy, make you feel sharper and happier, help with the chronic pain and (for many the most important end-result) maintain your independence.
There is also the matter of intelligence, or previously mentioned – sharpness. After the age of twenty-three, our IQ begins to dwindle unstoppably until the day we die. By now, science has proven there is only one thing that can help slow down this process – physical exercise. Therefore, regular exercise will also help you maintain your memory and problem-solving prowess.
Why should I keep on pushin’ it?
Your immune system will get stronger and your allergies and chronic disease symptoms will reduce. Your posture will improve, your skin will get younger, your balance will become better, you’ll sleep better, your self-confidence will go through the roof.
The key thing is to keep on pushing it. For the first month or two, it will be really hard to endure the initial hardships. In fact, it might get overwhelming at times. Take my word for it, this is completely normal, especially if you haven’t exercised for years on end. Think of the initial pains as a rude wakeup call for your body and keep yourself hydrated.
Where should I start?
However, don’t push yourself over the limit. If going straight for aerobic and fitness exercises turns out to be too much for you initially, start off with something easy. Walking sessions are a good place to begin. If you are really out of shape, you can determine a specific time after sunset when you go out and start walking at an even pace for at least one hour. You can bring along some good company for a conversation if you want to.
After a week of repeating this every night, increase the time of your walking exercise to at least two hours. You’ll also need quality footwear, insoles and overall top-notch gym outfits that will offer invaluable “assistance” during these beginning steps.
Where do I go?
You are bound to find a lot of programs around town that offer the exact exercising pace that you need. You can also apply for water aerobics if you have too much trouble with joint pain. Water is a good stress reliever in every sense and water sports in general will help you get fit. Yoga is a good way to relieve stress through a combination of stretching poses and breathing. However, it doesn’t boil down to mere “posing”. Through asanas, you also work on strengthening you entire musculature, flexibility and balance. It’s good to try these “entry point” activities before you proceed to full blown fitness and jogging sessions.
People are becoming more willing to take care of themselves generation after generation. After all, mobility is the cornerstone of quality aging and people who engage in some sort of physical exercise on a regular basis tend to look younger than their age. So what are you waiting for? Get off that couch and make your body work for you.
Once again, thanks to Samantha for this guest post. Don’t forget to check out Ripped.Me by clicking on the image below. Cheers!
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Mark is an all-rounded guy with dreams, aspirations, and a desire to be a better version of himself. Having conquered obesity, he set-up Granite Fitness to help regular people get in shape and stay healthy. Mark spends his days helping distressed Uni students through difficult situations. He holds three science degrees and a Diploma of Christian counselling. In his spare time, Mark does freelancing and runs a series of online operations with his business partner Atanas. Connect with Mark @ http://au.linkedin.com/in/marksptan